Western Research and Demonstration Farm

 

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Location

Castana, Monona County
Directions: Go 4 miles east of Castana on County Road E-34.

Size

240 acres

Owner

Western Iowa Experimental Association

Association President

Kyle Bohnker
Charter Oak, IA 51439

History

The association purchased the farm in 1946.

Contacts

Wayne Roush, Ag Specialist (Livestock)
(712) 885-2802 office

Agro-Climatic Zone

Western Iowa Loess Hills

Soils

Gently sloping ridges and steep side slopes that gradually change to well-defined valleys characterize this region. Sloping soils are very erosive and require terracing, contouring and other conservation practices. Predominant soils are:

Ida:
6-30 percent slope, well drained, occurs on narrow divides and steep side slopes

Monona:
5-14 percent slope, well drained, occurs on ridges and s strongly sloping side slopes

Research

Beef Cattle. Animal scientists study beef carcass quality to evaluate the effects of various grazing techniques and feedlot performance.

Swine. Researchers use bedded hoop structures to demonstrate low-input swine production.

Forage. Researchers are studying the possibility of improving the productivity of warm-season pastures by interseeding legumes. Researchers evaluate livestock performance on this pasture system and in intensive rotational grazing systems. Based on this research, it should be possible to develop site-specific recommendations for the establishment and management of prodctive summer pastures in western Iowa.

Crops. Studies focus on fertilizer requirements of corn grown in different cropping systems, the effects of fertilization on soil properties, the rooting patterns of soybeans, the effects of sulfur and zinc fertilization on corn, evaluations of corn herbicides and evaluation of methods for managing corn with reduced herbicide applications.

Facilities

Beef handling facilities include a 16-pen cattle feeding unit. Extensive pastures support grazing and forage studies. Deep-bedded hoop structures are used in the low-inut swine project.